Festool introduced a new hand sander at the 2009 AWFS that uses the same 6″ hook-and-loop disc abrasives their orbital sanders use. I thought these sanders looked familiar, so I searched the Toolmonger archives and found this post from Rick. Hmmm, they look pretty similar, don’t they? The question is, did Festool copy this design, or are they relabeling a pre-existing product?
The ergonomically designed sander design is reminiscent of a computer mouse. On the bottom of the foam sander is a hard pad that backs the sandpaper and helps with shaping and coarse sanding. The sanders use 6″ abrasive discs which wrap up around the sides. Festool claims it’s designed to use their 6″ abrasive discs, but in all probability you can use any flexible abrasive discs.
There’s no information on their Festool USA Site yet, but you can see the sander listed on their international pages. The only retailer I found with release date information and pricing was Tool Home, who will have these available in the US October 1st (2009). They’ll be selling them for $25. Compare that to the Autobody Toolmart version, which sells for $14.